Critics wary as Google's Chrome preps ad-blocking crackdown

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Starting Thursday, Google will start using its Chrome browser to eradicate ads it deems annoying or otherwise detrimental to users. It just so happens that many of Google's own most lucrative ads will sail through the new filters.

The move, which Google first floated back in June, is ostensibly aimed at making online advertising more tolerable. Chrome will flag sites that run annoying ads such as auto-playing video with sound, and it will block all ads on offending sites if they don't reform themselves.

Google's aim is partly to convince people to turn off their own ad-blocking software, which costs publishers revenue by preventing ads from displaying.

But critics said it is acting selfishly by leaving untouched formats like pre-roll ads, which frequently appear before videos on its YouTube platform.

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